Iraqi govt workers investigated for fake documents
BAGHDAD IRAQ’S parliament is investigating some 20,000 government employees who appear to have used fake diplomas and other forged education certificates to get their jobs, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
Layla Hassan, a lawmaker and member of an investigatory panel, said employees with fake credentials may include ministers, deputy ministers and other top lawmakers.
“Some of those who have fake education certificates are senior officials in the current and former government,” Hassan said in an interview, declining to name any until the investigation is complete.
“These people should not be pardoned.
Otherwise, others will do the same in the future,” she said.
Officials from Iraq’s higher education ministry could not be reached for comment.
The revelation could further anger many Iraqis, as frustration with shoddy government services, corruption and high unemployment have prompted dozens of protests across the country in recent weeks.
The use of fake diplomas has become widespread the last several years, creating a thriving black market in a country with 15 percent unemployment.
The use of such documents “has a devastating effect on the country, because it means that it is being run by inefficient and even illiterate people,” said Baghdad political analyst Hadi Jalo.